Are New Year’s resolutions made to be broken? Sometimes it feels that way. After all, total transformation might seem like a lot of pressure to put on 365 days. But when it comes to finding your ideal career, a year is plenty of time. In fact, Google Career Certificates are specifically designed to quickly help people jumpstart their careers in fast-growing fields like data analytics, IT support and project management.
Enrolling is a great first step, but it’s only the beginning. Once you begin working through the program, challenges may come up and lead you to doubt yourself. Obligations arise. Responsibilities fight for your time. In short, life happens.
We asked three Google Career Certificate graduates how they faced challenges like these, and they offered tips, advice and strategies for earning your certificate and finding your dream job.
Hundreds of thousands of Google Career Certificates graduates have gained new career skills through the program. If learning new skills or making a career change happens to be your goal this year, explore our certificates at grow.google/certificates.
1. Be intentional with your time.
After spending four years as a teacher, Megan Barrick realized the profession wasn’t for her. However, she says, “It can be really challenging to focus on changing careers when you’re currently stuck in a position you don’t love.”
Fortunately, Megan discovered her teaching skills could easily transfer into a project management role. She enrolled in the Google Project Management Certificate, which gave her the flexibility to learn while simultaneously working, managing her household and applying for new jobs.
She mentioned her certificate completion date in her applications, which caught an employer’s attention. Right before completing the certificate, she was offered a position as program manager at a higher salary than she expected.
“Take a look at how you spend your downtime and create habits that will help you reach your goals,” Megan recommends. “I spent a lot of my downtime scrolling mindlessly through social media. By becoming more intentional with my time, I could make progress in my course every day.”
2. Be patient with yourself (and the course).
Before immigrating to the U.S., Sagar Mehta worked as an analyst at a prestigious consulting firm in India. Despite his background, he found it hard to find a similar position in his new country. “I didn’t have a degree or a professional certificate from the U.S., so it was difficult to show companies why I was the best fit for a role,” he says.
After taking a job in the automotive industry, he eventually found his way back to data analytics through the Google Data Analytics Certificate program. He had to take several breaks in his studies due to caregiving responsibilities, but he persevered and completed the program within a year.
During interviews, employers would acknowledge his Google Career Certificate, and Sagar finally felt his skills were appreciated. In the end, he landed a data analytics role at his dream company.
When asked for his tips on finding motivation to complete the program, Sagar says, “As the course progresses, you might take longer to understand things. Don’t let this demotivate you, and don’t try to finish the course ASAP. Instead, set a goal to spend a certain amount of time each day, week, or month to learn.”
3. Be your biggest advocate.
As a visual merchandiser who designed in-store displays, Devyn Brown’s livelihood depended on people coming into shops — a factor the pandemic radically altered. After researching career options, he realized his experience made him a prime candidate for a more sustainable career in user experience (UX) design.
Devyn finished the Google UX Design Certificate program in eight weeks, but his greatest challenge was entering a new industry. “I started out not really feeling confident because I thought I was at the bottom of the candidate list,” he says.
Despite these concerns, Devyn was able to push past uncertainty by using his existing skills, which helped him land a job as an accessibility product designer at a software company. “A big part of design — or any industry — is having soft skills, and those are transferable from most jobs,” he says.
Devyn’s piece of advice to other learners is to shake off self-doubt. “Everyone has imposter syndrome at some point, even the people you’re interviewing with. Advocate for yourself and have confidence.”